New Year fires: More in 2024 with a different cause | Inquirer News

New Year fires: More in 2024 with a different cause

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 10:43 AM January 05, 2024

fire prevention


MANILA, Philippines—Every New Year, as people celebrate with much fanfare, some Filipinos face a recurring tragedy— fires that destroy homes and property and upend lives. These often lead to loss of lives, injuries, and displacement.

Sadly, 2024 was no exception to this troubling trend.


Data from the Fire Arson Investigation Division (FAID) of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) showed that 115 fires were reported nationwide between December 31, 2023, and January 1, 2024.





The number of fires after 2024 revelries was about 67 percent higher than the 69 fires recorded during the same period in 2023 and 95 percent higher than the 59 fires in 2022

Out of 115 fires, BFP noted that 78 and 27 broke out in structural and non-structural areas, such as electrical posts and vacant lots. Total damage was estimated to be worth P262 million.

Yearend fires across the country

According to the BFP, 27 fires broke out in Metro Manila alone — 19 of these on New Year’s Eve and eight between midnight and 1 a.m. of January 1, 2024. These killed at least two people and injured three others.

Seven fires broke out in Quezon City, four in the City of Manila, three each in the cities of Malabon, Las Piñas, and Taguig, two in Pasig, and one each in the cities of Muntinlupa, Makati, Caloocan, and Parañaque.

READ: BFP: 27 yearend fires in Metro Manila; 2 dead, 3 injured



Over P8.4 million worth of property was also destroyed when a fire engulfed a restaurant chain in Talisay City, southern Cebu, on New Year’s Eve 2024.

READ: New Year’s Eve fire gobbles up P8.4-M in mall in Talisay City, Cebu

Two distinct fires in Cebu City damaged a classroom and a house.  These were believed to be caused by firecrackers.

READ: New Year’s Eve fire hits residential area in Brgy. Apas

A few days before the fire broke out, the Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) said it was on high alert for New Year’s celebrations as they anticipated an increased risk of fires, mainly due to firecrackers.

READ: Cebu City Fire Office on high alert for New Year’s Eve

Top causes of yearend fires

Over the last three New Year’s celebrations, the causes of fires varied, with some patterns emerging. Data from the past three years show a shift in the primary causes of these accidents.

In the transition from 2021 to 2022, electrical issues were the leading cause of fires, with “electrical ignition caused by arcing” and “loose connections” topping the list. These were followed by fires caused by smoking and fireworks.

The following year, from the end of 2022 to the beginning of 2023, fireworks took the lead as the main cause of fires. “Ignition caused by fireworks/pyrotechnics explosion” was the most frequent cause, a significant change.

Electrical problems continued to be a concern, with arcing and loose connections still responsible for many fires.



The most recent data from the end of 2023 to the start of 2024 indicate a rise in smoking-related fires, which now rank as the top cause, resulting in nine fires.

Firecrackers, a constant in these lists, continue to be a hazard, causing six fires. Electrical ignitions, both from arcing and loose connections, persist as significant fire starters, with arcing and loose connections accounting for six and five cases.

Fires caused by fireworks or pyrotechnics have decreased incidence but remain a risk, causing at least four cases.

Constant safety reminders

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has consistently advised the public to exercise caution and adhere to the following preventive safety measures to avert fires during New Year’s festivities.

  • Always attend to lit candles; do not leave them burning without supervision.
  • Stay vigilant when cooking and never leave it unmonitored.
  • Refrain from incinerating wrapping paper, cartons, or other rubbish in a fireplace.
  • Inspect your electrical cords for any signs of wear and ensure plugs are secure.
  • Disconnect electrical devices when planning to be away from home, especially for out-of-town breaks or holidays.
  • Avoid overburdening your home’s electrical system.
  • Do not smoke indoors.
  • Regularly perform maintenance checks on your gas tanks.


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TAGS: 2024, Bureau of Fire Protection, Fire, INQFocus, New Year

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